1960s Teisco/Kawai Kingston Hollowbody Electric Guitar

This quirky old Japanese electric is so typical of the Kawai/Teisco instruments from the late '60s. It's a bolt-on-neck hollowbody, has a multi-ply maple neck, shoddy construction, and even when it was brand-new it probably played like an absolute clunker. It was then abused over the years and when it arrived here the neck angle was terrible, the fretboard and truss rod were falling off and out of the neck, and the fretboard was "secured" by four drywall screws inserted at the heel.

Improvements have been made, however, and now this guitar plays slick and fast. The first "fix" was to install a dowel through the center of the body to shore-up the bad design of the neckblock on these guitars. Once this is done, these guitars hold their tuning and stability close to a normal bolt-on solidbody guitar. It really does work.

Next-up was to reglue the fretboard and truss rod (in its aluminum sheath) in the neck and then seat and level/dress the frets. After that it got some side dots, I replaced a bad original jack with a proper Switchcraft one, and modified the bridge mounting to use threaded posts rather than an archtop-style base. The owner had supplied a Jazzmaster-style unit to use to replace the whole thing but the saddles were too widely-spaced on it so I reused the original bridge instead.

As you might expect, it sounds rather '60s Japan -- a bit bright and snappy, a bit loose in the bass, and not at all something you might play for its value as a "clean-toned" guitar. These always sound best with a bit of drive... or different pickups!